May 25, 2018

The Council of Canadians is calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to stop BP oil and gas drilling off the coast of Nova Scotia.

Justin Trudeau was in La Malbaie yesterday to talk about the upcoming G7 summit and defend the $605 million price tag for the two-day gathering. The Canadian Press reports that Trudeau said the event can be the perfect forum for the global leadership that is required on issues such as the environment and healthy oceans.

The Canadian Press has previously reported, "The second day of the summit, June 9, will be devoted to a special session on oceans, a key theme for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. ...Trudeau wants an in-depth discussion with an expanded group of world leaders [including the heads of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund] on the plight of the oceans... Trudeau’s oceans agenda is expected to focus on three areas: combating overfishing, reducing the dumping of harmful plastics and finding ways to help coastal states - including parts of the United States - cope with rising sea levels."

May 24, 2018

The Ontario 2018 election is just two weeks away. We asked thousands of people across Ontario what issues matter most and what will inform how they vote on June 7.

Here’s what matters to you on water in Ontario. Ask your local candidates what they will do to protect water using the sample questions below.

Eliminate bottled water permits

94% of people said they want the government to eliminate permits to extract and exploit groundwater for bottled water corporations. Nestlé continues to pump millions of litres of water every day on two expired permits in the Grand River Watershed. The Aberfoyle permit expired nearly two years ago on July 31, 2016. The Erin permit expired 9 months ago on August 31, 2017.

Council of Canadians Political Director Brent Patterson writes that Nestlé’s bottled water taking permit process won’t likely begin until after the election.

May 24, 2018

The Council of Canadians joined with Unifor Canada, the Sierra Club, the Trade Justice Network, Ecology Ottawa and allies on Parliament Hill this afternoon to say no to a likely $570 million NAFTA Chapter 11 payment to US-based Bilcon. This is the written text of my comments at that rally today:

Let us begin by acknowledging what we all know to be true - there is very clearly a problem with the North American Free Trade Agreement.

If we can have a situation, as we do with Bilcon, in which it is fairly determined that a proposed quarry on the Bay of Fundy would have a "significant adverse affect" on the community, and the company wanting to build that quarry can claim that decision is arbitrary, unfair and discriminatory, and a NAFTA panel can then rule "community core values" is not "rational government policy", then NAFTA is a problem.

If governments cannot say no to a 152-hectare, two million tonne a year gravel extraction operation because it negatively impacts people, surrounding communities and the local economy, then NAFTA is a problem.

May 24, 2018

Four members of The Council of Canadians Hamilton chapter celebrate at Hamilton City Hall after City Council voted to accept the Healthy Food and Beverage Action Plan.

The Council of Canadians Hamilton chapter is celebrating a Hamilton city council vote in favour of a plan that will see sales of sugary drinks and bottled water drastically reduced in city recreation facilities.

Ten days ago, the Hamilton Spectator reported, "[The Healthy Food and Beverage Action Plan] does not call for an outright ban, but instead suggests the city 'reduce the availability' of bottled water and sugary drinks like pop, Gatorade, fruit juice and even slushies in vending machines and concession stands. The change would [occur in 2021] when the city's beverage contract expires with Coca Cola. ...Councillor Aidan Johnson, who asked for a study two years ago on axing bottled water sales in city facilities, said he considers the plan a 'qualified ban' and a 'carefully crafted compromise'."

May 22, 2018

The Council of Canadians held a rally today in opposition to the Kinder Morgan pipeline that drew 200+ people to Parliament Hill, 24,000 views on CBC and another 20,000 views via the Coast Protectors Facebook page.

We called this rally after federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced that the Trudeau government was willing to provide indemnification to Texas-based Kinder Morgan - or another investor willing to take on the pipeline - for any financial loss due to British Columbia's opposition the pipeline. While Morneau refuses to say how much the government is willing to compensate Kinder Morgan, and Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi says the public won't know until a deal is struck, a former TransCanada chief executive officer has suggested it could be a $10 billion indemnity.